Pubdate: Sat,  9 Sep 2000
Source: Sudbury Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 1999 The Sudbury Star
Contact:  33 MacKenzie St., Sudbury, Ont., P3C 4Y1
Fax: (705) 674-6834
Author: Rob O'Flanagan


Wide-eyed students at Lasalle Secondary School sat in funereal silence
Thursday as one of the toughest Canadians ever to lace on a pair of
boxing gloves told them a story of heart-breaking loss.

George Chuvalo, a former Canadian heavyweight boxing champion, twice
went the distance with Muhammad Ali and was never knocked down or out
in his 97 professional bouts.

But he has suffered grievous losses outside the ring. Chuvalo spoke in
morbid detail to hundreds of students, both at Lasalle and at Sudbury
Secondary School, about those losses.

Three of his sons, all heroin addicts, died horrible deaths because of
the drug, he said. His wife, Lynn, who bore five children, killed
herself after losing her boys Georgie and Jessie.

Chuvalo's son Steven died of an overdose in 1996, just weeks before he
was to go on the road with his father to warn teenagers about the
danger of drugs.

The syringe was still in his arm when Steven was found, a cigarette,
unlighted, in his fingers. "When you lose a child," Chuvalo said,
"everything you breathe is grief. You can't believe your son is dead."

Chuvalo's "beautiful sons" were so addicted to heroin, he said, that
when they saw the drug in the hands of a dealer, they would defecate
in their pants from excitement.

"Every time I tell that story, I get sick to my stomach," Chuvalo
said. "It hurts me to talk about my dead sons that way. You see how
horrible it is to be a heroin addict? You become possessed, a dope
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